Mind-enhancing drugs: Are they a no-brainer? – The Independent

Okay, here’s the deal. Students all over America are turning to all sorts of drugs to enhance their performance. People who are forthe use of these drugs often attack those against it by claiming they are in their “ivory tower” and simply taking the moral high ground.

I’m not so sure it’s a matter of morality or religious zeal. I may be against the use of drugs (and generally putting into your body things that are not from nature), but I’ve found an argument against the use of drugs involving more substantial than what moral crusaders would debate.

There are kids who can’t afford these drugs. Allowing performance enhancing drugs creates an even more deeply stratified educational environment. Already colleges have become businesses. Universities have established themselves as a brand, and those who can afford Ivy League schools come out with an automatic badge of distinction. Those who cannot afford to go to an Ivy League school are already in a less advantageous position than those who have. This same stratification will be exacerbated by the emergence of legal usage of drugs that enhance performance. The kids who can afford the drugs will earn higher grades, and therefore receive more attention and gain more opportunities to succeed than those who earn lesser grades.So little Mikey who comes from a lower middle class family goes to a mediocre school. Mikey’s got a natural knack for numbers, and he earns A’s easily. He gets noticed in the fifth grade and gets sent to a junior high school for gifted students. He excels and enters an elite specialized high school. Here he comes across a student body that is comprised mostly of kids from upper class families. These upper class students have access to the drugs, as well as the money required to obtain the drugs. Mikey, though naturally talented, needs the guidance and coaching of a dedicated teacher in order to grow as a mathematician: calculus is a tough subject to tackle without someone to show you the ropes. So in his math class, Mikey is an excellent student, but he doesn’t really shine as much as he ought to. That’s because there are other less talented students who are otherwise earning high marks because of their access to drugs. Maybe Mikey’s getting A’s with ease, but his achievement is diminished in the context of his classroom because Johnathan and the rest of his friends are taking Adderall and amphetamines.Drugs in general are just a bad idea, for many reasons. But that’s all I’ve got for now.

I’ve heard the argument that the United States Air Force gives its fighter pilots amphetamines. Well, here’s the thing…they’re flying a multi-million dollar machine, and their mental capacities can often be the difference between life and death. I don’t think you can compare that to a night of cramming for finals.